Unique transportation solutions to accommodate SBC annual meeting attendees

It’s possible you’ve wondered how traffic and parking is going to work at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting next week. After all it’s no secret that at the moment Birmingham is missing the part of Interstates 20 and 59 that passes right over downtown. 

But SBC meeting planners say they’ve been working to create a system that will make it as trouble free as possible.

Road projects

“Due to the current road improvement projects in the Birmingham area the SBC convention planning team has been working closely with local city planners and our local arrangements committee to implement a number of unique transportation solutions to accommodate our attendees,” said Bill Townes, the SBC Executive Committee’s vice president for convention finance who oversees planning for the SBC annual meeting.

Check out these details to discover the best way for you to get to the meeting.

Traffic

To find out the most up-to-date information on road conditions in the area visit bjcc.org/know-before-you-go.php. Another helpful website is www.5920bridge.com or use the app algotraffic.  

Drop-off

If a friend, church bus or Lyft is dropping you off at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) (the annual meeting venue), a designated spot for that is on 19th Street. If you’re the one driving the car or bus there’s no parking in this area but several parking lots are available nearby. 

Parking

If you don’t mind spending a few dollars, event organizers say there’s plenty of paid parking around the meeting venue.

For cars the cost is around $10 per day, and the SBC convention planning team recommends you pick your lot based on what meeting you’re attending. 

Legacy Arena

For events in BJCC’s Legacy Arena (such as the main meeting and Pastors Conference) they recommend lots P13, P15, P14, P4 and P7. 

For events in the concert hall or theatre (such as the NAMB Chaplains Fellowship meeting or the B21 luncheon and panel) they suggest lots P15, P4, P13 and P7.

For meeting rooms (child care, for instance) try lots P4, P7 and P5. And for the exhibit hall they suggest P4, P7 and P5, P13 and P15.

If you’re driving a bus you can park in the lot on 23rd Street (marked P12 on the map) for $25 per day. 

ADA parking is available in all BJCC lots.

Shuttles

For those who would like to avoid dealing with parking and traffic downtown, the SBC convention planning team has been working together with local city planners to come up with an extensive shuttle system running from area hotels as well as four park and ride lots — Bessemer Civic Center (1130 9th Ave. S.W., Bessemer); Gardendale First Baptist Church,  (316 Mountain Crest Pkwy.); NorthPark Baptist Church, Trussville (5700 Deerfoot Pkwy.);  and Fairfield Inn & Suites in Fultondale (1795 Morris Ave.).

Shuttle buses are free thanks to help from the Sheraton Hotel and the City of Birmingham, and they will drop-off and pick-up from the BJCC Circle Drive, which is the closest entrance for registration. Look for color-coded signage to know where to catch your ride. 

To download a list of shuttle routes and schedules visit sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/transportation. You can also find them in the SBC Annual Meeting mobile app in the Attendee Resources section.

Lyft credit

In addition to hotel and park-and-ride shuttles you can use an event credit code to book a ride through Lyft. Look for instructions about this credit in the SBC Annual Meeting app. (Grace Thornton)